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2015 vs history: The offensive struggle is real

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

In our short FBS there are three kinds of Bulls teams: The great teams that go Bowling (2008, 2013), the teams that both excite and disappoint while winning 5 games (2007, 2009, 2014) and disappointing teams that win 4 or less. With their 5th win, the 2015 Bulls join the ranks as one of the top 6 UB teams of this era, but how does the Offense compare to those teams?

Quarterback Play

Statistically, the best QB through 9 is 2013 Licata and the worst is 2015 Licata.

2015 Licata Strengths:

Sacks, Completion Percentage.

In 2015, Licata has only been sacked once every 23 dropbacks, which is second only to 2013 Licata who was sacked once every 33 dropbacks. Licata sometimes gets criticized for sacks and his lack of mobility, but that's just not true. Comparatively, in 2007 and 2008, Willy was sacked every 16 and 14.6 dropbacks.

2015 Licata is completing 63.67% of his passes, second only to 2007 Drew Willy who completed 67.19%. It's a good stat, but I prefer yards per dropback to determine how good a QB makes decisions.

2015 Licata Weaknesses:

Yards/Comp, Yards/Att, Yards/Drop, TD/INT

The first three weaknesses make you questions the scheme, but the final weakness is on the senior QB.

Licata is averaging 10.43 yards per completion, 6.64 yards per attempt and 6.05 yards per dropback.

The top QB is 2013 Joe Licata who gained 7.66 yards per attempt and 7.27 yards per dropback.

That said, the difference in yards per dropback only represent a loss of 44 yards passing per game.

The TD/INT is a bigger issue. Licata has 8 interceptions, double what Willy had at this point in 2008. Willy in 2008 had 13 more TDs than INTs, 2013 and 2014 Licata had 11 more, this year, Licata only has 4 more TDs than INTs.

Not only does he have a lot of interceptions 6 of his 8 have been critical.

Five INTs were with UB 35 yards or less from a Touchdown, two were intercepted in the end zone, and two were returned for touchdowns by the opponent.

One more INT was with UB 35 yards or less from their own end zone, setting the opponent up in scoring position.

In the seven games this year that Licata has thrown an interception, UB has allowed 186 points. 38 of those points came after a Licata interception, meaning his turnovers have accounted for 20% of the points against UB's defense in those 7 games.

Running Back Play

Statistically, the best RB through 9 games is 2013 Branden Oliver, followed by 2008 Starks and 2015 Johnson. 2009 Ike Nduka is #4 and 2014 Anthone Taylor is #5. 2015 Taylor is #8.

Jordan Johnson is out running Taylor's effort from last year (4.64 yards per carry vs 4.62) and has 8 TDs to 2014 Taylor's 9 TDs, despite having 77 fewer carries than Taylor at this time last year. That said the bowl level teams had 5+ ypc runners. BO 2013 ran for 5.27 yards per carry at this point and Starks 2008 ran for 5.32.

This year Taylor fighting through injuries, has regressed down to 4.51 yards per carry, which is the rate Mario Henry ran at in 2007.

Receiver Play

2015 Weiser (45 receptions, 455 yards, 10.1 yards per catch, 2 TDs) is the #13 receiver on the 5 win teams, 2015 Willoughby (40 receptions, 553 yards, 13.83 yards per catch, 6 TDs) is #5, 2014 Willoughby #4, 2009 Roosevelt #3, 2013 Neutz #2 and 2008 Roosevelt #1.

Interestingly, While the 2009 duo of Roosevelt and Hamlin was the best receiving duo (115 receptions, 1509 yards, 13.12 yards per catch, 8 TDs), the duo of Willoughby and Weiser this year (85 receptions, 1008 yards, 11.86 yards per catch, 8 TDs)


The 2015 offense had similar stats of the previous good teams through six games but the offense has continued to struggle where those other teams started to find their rhythm. As a result, the 2015 team is shaping up to be the worst offense of the good UB teams.

Later in the week, we'll look at the defense and other situations that can possibly explain why this team is winning in spite of the struggling offense.